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Requiem for a Dream

Darren Aronofsky

Drugs, chocolate, television, masturbation, coffee and cigarettes are the signature pitfalls in a brainy urban fable about ordinary people whose quick-fix gratifications become deadly addictions. Director Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream is a clever and tightly orchestrated adaptation of Hubert Selby Jnr’s novel, in which four people with modest dreams for a better life descend in a diabolical downward spiral into despair and self-destruction.

Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn) is a lonely Jewish widow, living in an old high-rise apartment on Coney Island which she once shared with her late husband Seymour and her son Harry (Jared Leto). Sara spends her days overdosing on chocolates and television game shows. One day, she receives a telephone call from her favourite programme offering her a place on the show and a shot at glory. Delirious at the prospect of becoming a star, Sara vows to transform herselfby losing 30 pounds on a steady diet of coffee and pills.

Meanwhile, Harry, an eccentric and aimless young man, charts his won path to success. He and his friend Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) start a prosperous business as cocaine dealers, and soon they are stashing shoe boxes filled with wads of cash in Tyrone’s apartment. Tyrone and his voluptuous girlfriend (Jennifer Connelly) hope their venture will finance a store to showcase her clothing designs.
As winter approaches, Sara becomes an emaciated shadow of her former self, delusional and paranoid from her daily doses of diet pills, and increasingly desperate for a response to her game show application. Harry and Tyrone surrender to the temptations of their merchandise and find themselves living on the frozen streets addicted to drugs.

Aronofsky’s innovative and stylistically arresting camera techniques use hip-hop montage to produce rapid, hypnotic images that parallel the effects of mood-altering drugs. Requiem for a Dream is a compelling and emotionally authentic story from an extraordinarily gifted filmmaker.

U.S.A., 2000.
Colour.
Dolby digital stereo.
102 min.

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